When your meal nearly kills you three times, you would think it’s hard to praise the restaurant. But once you learn how to avoid choking on Pomodoro’s overly-rubbery mozzarella, your tastebuds really will be rewarded.
Less than a year old, it’s already regarded as one of Scarborough’s best eateries by travel-bible Tripadvisor.
And despite its flaws, such as the drab decor and the chewy cheese, on the whole, it’s a true taste of Italy.
And while that lazy clichéd line has been used to death, in this case it actually rings true as for me the food dished up at the Newborough cafe-cum-restaurant is how I imagine Italian home cooking.
Granted, my knowledge of Italian dishes outside of pizza and pasta is probably limited to meal time in The Sopranos and that jail scene in Goodfellas, but as my eyes feasted on the daily specials tucked behind the counter, it really did resemble dinner table at Tony’s New Jersey mansion.
Rabbit. Eggplant. Fat meatballs. Chicken Parmesan. Naples staples all of them, and each one of them looked absolutely incredible, with tomato-stained chunks of meat, swimming in little vats of crimson gravy.
Our waitress was a credit to the restaurant, reciting the specials to us with a genuine pride in the food, which considering some of the surly service I’ve endured in this town, was really refreshing.
And it was after her hard sell of the specials that my dining partner plumped for the meatballs, which the chef agreed to serve with a plate of pasta.
You would think a meatball shouldn’t be a hard dish to master, but I’ve had some stinkers. Not this time though,
They were meaty and filling, and you could tell a lot of care had gone into the seasoning, but while they were an undoubted step up on the same dish you would find at most restaurants, they just lacked some intangible quality that stopped them being truly great.
The flaws were more obvious with my main, a meat feast calzone. To be fair, it was really tasty. Stuffed full of good quality meat, it was substantial and oily, and the filling oozed out of the stodgy crust.
However, in a town where Florio’s calzone sets an almost impossibly high benchmark, there wasn’t enough sauce on top for my liking – plus the mozzarella left me a nervous wreck.
But it’s pretty much nitpicking at what was delicious grub at very, very competitive prices.
And the puddings just drove that point home, with my gigantic heart-clogging slab of moreish black cherry cheesecake being the highlight of my visit, a mountain of sickly-sweet heaven.
My companion’s meringue, dripping with cream and fresh strawberries, was fresh, light and delicious.
The restaurant is certainly not without its downsides, the most serious flaw being its decor which could probably pass for a greasy spoon in Brixton.
But it’s nothing a few licks of paint won’t fix, and I’d love to think that with the venue still in its infancy, the restaurant will be spruced up, and its other minor faults ironed out, for Pomodoro to retain its position near the summit of Scarborough’s restaurant mountain.
Menu choice 7